Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Canada will now be able to pursue innovative projects with their counterparts in São Paulo (Brazil's most populous state and an industrial powerhouse in South America) following an agreement signed by the National Research Council of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) and the São Paulo Research Foundation (Portuguese acronym FAPESP).
The agreement, which strengthens ties with São Paulo and lays the groundwork for future market-driven proposals addressing areas of mutual interest, was signed by NRC Acting President Maria Aubrey and FAPESP President José Goldemberg.
"Global collaboration has become a competitive necessity for Canadian SMEs," explains Aubrey. "This Agreement opens doors to facilitate interaction that will allow industry in both countries to leverage each other's competencies and resources. It is part of NRC's commitment towards helping Canadian industry to contribute and compete in the global marketplace."
Funding for successful partnership initiatives could be provided by IRAP or by the Canadian International Innovation Program, a Global Affairs Canada (GAC) initiative jointly delivered by GAC and IRAP in support of collaborative industrial research and development projects between Canada and partner countries.
NRC is Canada's premier research and technology organization. Working with clients and partners, we provide innovation support, strategic research, and scientific and technical services. NRC's Industrial Research Assistance Program is Canada's leading innovation assistance program for SMEs. It is a vital component of NRC and a cornerstone of Canada's innovation system, regarded worldwide as one of the best programs of its kind.
With a population of 40 million, highly developed infrastructure and a skilled labour force, the state of São Paulo is the biggest economy in South America and one of the biggest in Latin America. São Paulo generates a third (35%) of Brazil's gross national product. A large part of this contribution (43%) lies in its industrial sector, with its strengths in machinery, the automobile and aviation industries, services, financial companies, commerce, textiles, orange growing, and the production of sugar cane and coffee beans.
FAPESP is an independent public foundation which supports research, education and innovation throughout São Paulo. The foundation fosters a number of international partnerships and cooperation agreements. It also provides targeted investments for priority projects such as digital information technologies in support of industrial innovation.